Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida on Wednesday, September 28th with wind speeds up to 150 miles per hour. Just shy of a Category 5 hurricane, the storm decimated the city of Fort Myers and has caused flooding and destruction from Naples to Orlando.
In times of need like this, many people are left wanting to help but are not sure how to do so. Below are places to donate money and volunteer time in order to support the survivors of this storm in Florida.
Where can I donate money to support victims of Hurricane Ian?
1. Florida Disaster Fund
One of the most common places people donate to in wake of Florida natural disasters is the Florida Disaster Fund. This non-profit is the official private fund for disaster relief for the State of Florida. You can donate online or sign a check to “Volunteer Florida Foundation” and include “Florida Disaster Fund” in the memo line. Checks can also be mailed to the Volunteer Florida Foundation at 1545 Raymond Diehl Road, Suite 250, Tallahassee, FL 32308.
2. Global Giving
Global Giving funds local nonprofits and community organizations to ensure a lasting solution within communities affected by natural disasters. Donations will be used to provide food, water, and emergency supplies to people in Florida; they also support temporary relief for displaced families.
3. Feeding Florida
Feeding Florida is the official network of Florida food banks. During this time they are accepting donations and working to make sure food and water resources are being distributed to victims of the storm.
How can I volunteer to help Florida?
1. Disaster Relief At Work (DRAW)
Disaster Relief At Work (DRAW) is a Michigan-based non-profit which has been supporting communities affected by natural disasters since 2011. If you live near their DRAW warehouse you can help by building buckets of necessary supplies for victims of the storm. If you are interested in on-the-ground relief work, they also organize volunteers in the aftermath of storms.
2. Volunteer Florida
Volunteer Florida is an official support network for the State of Florida which has volunteer opportunities across the state. From mental health support, to working food banks, to emergency relief, there are volunteer opportunities for anyone.
3. World Central Kitchen
Founded in 2010, World Central Kitchen (WCK) works to provide meals to people in the aftermath of natural disasters. They train volunteers on the ground and work with chefs to provide food and hope to victims of natural disasters.
How can I avoid Hurricane Ian donation scams?
Unfortunately, when disasters strike, many individuals attempt to profit off of the kindness and compassion of others. If you would like to seek out volunteer and donation opportunities beyond this list, we encourage you to be safe and follow these four tips for ensuring the organization you intend to support is reputable:
Make sure the organization you’ve discovered offers records to prove donations have been directly applied to aid in disaster relief.
Look for names, brands, or endorsements on the organization’s website that you can recognize.
Double check whether or not the organization is legally registered as a 501(c)(3) organization.
Explore the organization’s official website to fully comprehend who you may be supporting and exactly how they intend to help a cause.
Hurricane Ian has become a tropical storm and is now heading up towards the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. Stay up to date on the path of the storm and follow local orders and precautions if you are in impacted areas. Make sure to check up on friends and families who may live in affected areas. Having the support of others during times like this can make the world of difference.
This article was written exclusively for Love What Matters by Anna Steingruber. Join the Love What Matters family and subscribe to our newsletter.
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